Our last interview with Mother of Millions was almost four long years ago (click). Back then, Human had impressed us as a debut album and we hoped that they would continue in such high level. The second album, Sigma was released a few months ago and our expectations were fulfilled, to say the least. In a few days Mother of Millions will play live at Temple (click) so a conversation with Makis Tsamkosoglou was more than necessary.
Questions: Lefteris Statharas, Dimitris Kaltsas
Hello guys and congratulations on Sigma! I think, though it was not easy, surpassed Human and was a step forward in relation to your debut. Was the response what you expected?
Hello! Thank you very much for your good words! Our ultimate goal was to get those components that we liked most in Human and to develop them in the second album. So we used all our experience so far and did our best to create what is now called Sigma. The response of both the Greek and international press and the people so far is more than encouraging. Although it is still early, it seems as if the experiment has been successful.
Three years have passed from Human to Sigma. What do you think has been the evolution in the band musically?
It is somewhat difficult to identify this development at this time. But if I could sit aside and watch as a viewer, maybe I could tell you that on this record each of us has a very well-defined role throughout Sigma. There is nothing unnecessary or something that needs any change. The choice of our external collaborators was also crucial. The mixing of the album was undertaken by Hector Tsolakis and mastering Steve Lado and with their help we made the sound effect we had in mind from the beginning.
How was the Sigma recording process? How long did it take you and how different it was from your debut as a process?
The compositional process was more or less the same as in Human. It’s just that on this album we had a more direct access to professional recording equipment as we changed studios and in recent years we use the same as Universe217. This has resulted in our pre-productions being very close to what we eventually wanted to do. Focused on the production process for about a year away from various problems with intense creative disputes, conflicts and joyful moments! A living organism with a collective consciousness.
Is there a concept behind your covers? I notice that in both albums there is a person looking at the listener.
As far as the artworks of the albums are concerned, we had the pleasure to work with two awesome artists, in Human it was Yannis Papadopoulos and Panagiotis Tsalavrettos in Sigma. Panagiotis has been working on Sigma‘s artwork since the concept’s birth. We work closely together to create every visual idea for both the album and the concert posters. We would say that it is an integral part of M.o.M.
What is the message you wanted to spend with the lyrics in Sigma?
How does the ego fit into the whole? Which are the words that you need to articulate in order to repress the humiliating Silence? There are some thoughts that concern us during Sigma.
If someone had time to listen to only one track of yours, which would you suggest and why?
It’s hard to pick one. If, however, I had to think about which piece contains all the elements that characterize M.o.M., I think I would choose Spiral.
Which one would you choose?
Probably Silence. After the introduction and the first acquaintance with Shine, Silence confirms the maturity and high compositional level. It’s robust; it gives space and time to each musician to create this great atmosphere.
OK, let’s move on. In your second album, you collaborated with the Swedish ViciSolum Records. What are your impressions so far and what are the most important differences with your first steps, especially in the promotion and distribution?
It is somewhat early to draw conclusions. But the truth is that we are talking about a professional partnership that so far is impeccable. Our partners from Sweden are constantly by our side supporting us. It is very important that, unlike our previous collaboration, ViciSolum is in Europe, so the communication is more direct, there are no needless delays due to distance and time.
The weakening of big record companies and the reinforcement of the DIY movement worldwide has on the one hand favored the freedom of artistic direction, but it has also probably limited the prospect of truly talented bands and solo artists. What is your view on this and what do you think about the modern international rock scene?
I think I will disagree with your original claim. I think it’s up to every band to get their music out there. What if it is under a record label or not? The whole thing of “exporting” the music of every artist needs perseverance, consistency and hard work. At least these features seem to work for M.o.M. so now I think, can I can judge the international rock scene? However, very good records were released in 2017. Maybe that was proof, right?
2017 ended a few days ago. Excluding Sigma for obvious reasons, which releases did you listen to most and which did you “envy” as musicians?
The temperature of Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
The Rock of Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark
The complexity of Need – Hegaiamas: A Song For Freedom
The directness of Leprous – Malina
The sophistication of Playgrounded – In Time With Gravity
The tours of Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold
In your concerts you always use very good visual material. How important is the live presentation for you?
It is the number one priority. We want our concerts to be impeccable and we always try new stuff, we rehearse more and we use new equipment. Whether we succeed or not is judged by this audience.
You have already raised the bar of your concerts very high. What should we expect on January 20 at Temple Athens? Something unusual in the setlist maybe?
We’re preparing a setlist with the whole Sigma and several songs off Human. Singing altogether is a unique feeling. We are looking forward to it!
Do you have plans for a tour outside of the Greek borders?
As part of the promotion of Sigma, the band went abroad once again and played with Textures and Extremities. We have already announced three concerts in March in the Netherlands and at this time we are discussing more things as well.
Is there anything in the Greek scene that you would like to see and has not happened yet?
I really like the way the scene evolves! I feel that its development is based on solid foundations. I would like to see even more bands filling venues abroad. The basic steps have already happened. What we need is a little more time. I am optimistic.
Is there already ready material for your third album? We hope it will be released before 2020…
(Laughter) We are planning on the new album coming out pretty soon. We already have some ideas, but isn’t it strange to talk about a third album today? Sigma was released only two months ago.
Thank you very much Makis! See you in a few days at Temple Athens!
We thank you for your hospitality. We hope to see as many of you as possible on Saturday night’s 20th of January.